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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

202                  MODERN  GERMAN  LITERATURE

with which the mysteries have been probed. The path has been
through Hell (the Hell ofMa/ti) upwards to the Angel - not with
the Angel, as was the case with Dante and Stefan George. Now
the Angel is near, and, though still terrible, the terror and the
mystery of his super-humanity are known'to the mortal, and there-
fore the mortal can adore in jubilation. Here the aim which had
throughout his poetic striving lured Rilke, to interpret life, is (in
his own belief) realized at last, and to the full. Realizing that the
cGod' he had created in Das Stundenbucb had been himself, above
all a projection of his own loneliness, and that Make too had been
a poignant re-creation of himself, he had turned to the creation of
things without himself in the Dinggedichte, but even in these, as
we have seen - and as the jth Elegy confirms - the reality is trans-
ferred personality. The Duino Elegies represent a third stage in his
development, complete objectivity or utter elimination of himself,
solution of the mysteries achieved by love of life which asks for
nothing except life to suffer in. Kilke indicates the nature of his
volte-face in his poem Wendung1: what he had hitherto achieved had
been first by a mystic worship and then by a visual process. Into
his vision he had taken beasts and birds and flowers, and he had
been they. But in alien rooms of strange inns and in his torturing
bed it had been borne in upon him that in all this there was naught
of love, and that to what he might still do of this nature conse-
cration would be denied. For to vision, he says, there is a limit,
and what vision has by the infusion of soul made more than a
thing seen should grow and thrive in the folds of love. When the
eyes' task is completed the heart should cherish the prisoned pic-
tures. For the poet, though he overpowers and possesses these
things, does not hum them. Knowledge, as the Duino Elegies climb
stage by stage to their culmination, is achieved by the justification
of suffering, that dark evergreen of life in which we abide. A youth
may for a short space follow, as he would a luring female, Lament
when he finds her haunting the noisy fair-booth of life. But Lament
is friend and solace only to those who have died young, and to
maidens: to them she reveals the treasures she wears, pearls of
pain and delicate veils of suffering. In the Valley of Pain one such
youth who has died young questions a Lament, an ancient of days,
and answering she tells him how mighty the race of Lament has
ever been:

Gedichte wdFragmentariscbes.